With an ever changing mobile landscape it can be difficult to put a finger on what the ideal timeline of a long term strategy really is.
In our business group we asked 10 of the business leaders what their idea of a long term strategy is and 72% defined it as a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3. To us that’s spot-on.
So using that timeframe, let’s look at setting up a long term strategy
A mobile strategy incorporates a system of server-based software as well as the application that applies to the mobile device and executes a program designed to facilitate a particular function. This creates an engaging and productive experience for the end user and should always result in the company meeting its business objectives.
A mobile strategy works best when the user doesn’t know it’s there. As a business owner, we want the customer to focus on the product/service, rather than trying to figure out our strategy.
The same thing goes for your mobile strategy and this idea is perfectly presented using the iceberg analogy:
Above the waterline, we see the interface that forms the experience for your customers. And below the line we see the major part of your mobile system.
This is the behind-the-scenes and often overlooked aspects like planning the software architecture, offline storage, data integration, security, interfacing into 3rd party applications, and more.
We see a mobile strategy as being the powerful and personal connection between a brand and its customers through the Smartphone device they carry with them wherever they go.
So how do you address the whole iceberg and create a mobile strategy that meets your business objectives? See our 4 step guide below:
Get business and marketing heads in the same room to identify the key initiatives. Keep in mind that mobile isn’t as much of an IT problem but rather requires a business/marketing perspective.
The focus is on mobilising your current moments of customer engagement.
Example: A telecom service provider could use an application to feature the latest plans on handsets so when the customer comes in to the store they already know what device they want thereby minimising customer contact.
Through researching your customer base, define which devices to support and if required, integration with existing enterprise systems. The IT group will define the connections to the existing software’s and how the data flows to and from smart devices.
Also consider security requirements if the app is transferring sensitive data.
Example: Contact details, etc.
Define early on how you foresee your mobile system to scale. Consider user fluctuations, future plans and additional smart-devices that may be incorporated into the strategy at a later stage.
This will make a significant difference to the programming language used, the server selection and many several other factors affecting costs and software architecture.
The old saying: “Spend a more time now and less time later” applies here.
Example: If your users are local to a single time-zone (or a maximum time-zone variance of +6) and the usage of the app at night-time drops off significantly then a cloud based solution would be advised. Cloud based server solutions are generally better at handling usage influx because of their quick-to-scale nature. Unless global infrastructures of physical servers are available, which often is not the case with new-to-market projects?
Define the ‘app strategy’ you need to build based on the collated data and the associated costs. Business and marketing heads will evaluate and prioritise the opportunities, based on required time/skill/other resources, the estimated return, and overall branding value to the company.